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Title Harbour Scene
Alternative Title Shipping in a Harbour; River Scene with Shipping
Collection Royal Cornwall Museum, Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro
Artist School of Backhuysen, Ludolf, I (Dutch painter, calligrapher, and printmaker, 1630-1708)
Previously attributed to manner of Velde, Willem van de, II (Dutch painter, 1633-1707)
Previously attributed to Dutch School
Date Earliest possibly about 1675
Date Latest possibly about 1700
Description A competent painting depicting a recreational scene, with swimmers in the centre ground, and some changing to the right. To the left is a kopjacht, a small vessel used as plaything by the wealthy; in the mid-ground is a large sailing vessel with the Dutch flag. The large port in the distance is perhaps Amsterdam.
Current Accession Number TRURI:1921.31.2
Subject marine
Measurements 68.5 x 85 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by Alfred A. de Pass 1921.
Publications Penrose, G., Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings and Miniatures in the Alfred A. de Pass Collection, Truro, 1936, cat. no. 18, p. 8, as Shipping in a Harbour, as late seventeenth-century Dutch School; Wright, C., Old Master Paintings in Britain: An Index of Continental Paintings Executed Before c. 1800 in Public Collections in the United Kingdom, London, 1976, p. 56, as Dutch school, seventeenth century.

Stencil on stretcher '3 8 4 0[;]'; wax seal (;) on stretcher, no discernable insignia; inscriptions on stretcher 'Frenhard[;] Vorschwung[;] / [...]'; '86 / 7 / 98[;]'

Ab Hoving, of the Rijksmuseum and Netherlands Maritime Museum, suggested the attribution to a pupil of Backhuysen, identified the kopjacht, and the location of the scene as possibly Amsterdam (seen from the north side of the Y, a place which was often visited and depicted by Backhuysen).

Alfred A. de Pass (1861-1953) was born in South Africa, where his father and grandfather had established a business empire which included interests in shipping, guano, copper mining and sugar farming. After retiring from the family firm at age 36, Alfred pursued his interest in art collecting. For a period he lived in Cornwall, where he took an active interest in the Truro museum, then called the Royal Institution of Cornwall. In 1917 he was elected Associate of the Institution and in 1920 became its Vice-President. His gifts to the museum between 1914 and 1947 included many works of Western European fine and decorative art, including an important collection of old master drawings, as well as Oriental paintings, ceramics, metal work and textiles. For a list of Mr de Pass' donations of Western European paintings and drawings to the Truro museum up to 1936 see G. Penrose (cited below). He also donated to a number of other museums, including the National Gallery, the Tate, the National Portrait Gallery, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, the Fitzwilliam, and the South African National Gallery.

Biographies and discussion of Mr de Pass' interests and donations may be found in: Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, The De Pass Collection: Paintings, Furniture, Ceramics etc., Illustrated Catalogue, Bristol, 1936; Popham, A.E., An Exhibition of Drawing from the Alfred A. de Pass Collection belonging to the Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro, London, 1957; Walker, R., The De Pass Family, unpublished dissertation, Bristol Polytechnic, 1979; Price, B.D., Biographical Notes on Alfred Aaron De Pass (1861-1952) Art Benefactor Extraordinary, Falmouth, 1982; Nail, N., ‘The Cornish curator and the cosmopolitan collector: a note on George Penrose, 1876-1951, and Alfred de Pass, 1861-1953', Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, 1993, New Series II, I, 3, pp. 277-89; Berriman, H., ‘Introduction' in M. Joannides, Exhibition Catalogue of Master Drawing from the De Pass Collection, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, London, 1994, pp. 7-11; Tietze, A., The Alfred de Pass Presentation to the South African National Gallery, exhibition catalogue, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, 1995; Irvine, G., and T. Daniel, Japanese Collection, Royal Cornwall Museum, Cornwall, 2001.

Rights Owner Royal Cornwall Museum, Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro
Author Dr Susan Steer



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